(if a car is not pictured here, it has been sold)

Oh, the places they will leak.

We are plumbers, and we spend our day chasing leaks. This one is quite satisfying to rectify, as it is one of the culprits that causes the seemingly never ending flow of oil out of the back of a 948 engine and onto your driveway.

Dog dish, without the dog.

Above is a photo of the back plate of a 948 A series engine. The thumb points to the oil pump cover, which is soldered or brazed onto the back plate.

The joint fails.

Next time your engine is out, look closely for oil trails above the crank. Oil often leaks from this oil pump cover and down the back plate, (where it unites with oil already leaking from the rear main seal).

People routinely blame the rear seal for the oil they find on the floor of their garage. And leak they do. But they have help. Stamp out dog dish oil leaks. Check yours next time you remove your engine.

In the video below, we demonstrate how to use a high pressure blow gun and soapy water to test the union between dog dish and back plate. Once repaired, rear engine oil leaks are reduced and occasionally eliminated.

Try to save your exisiting oil pump cover. (They are sometimes pin-holed too!) We have them in our catalog but for 1275 engines only. They are not available for 948 and 1098 engines.

Give your Sprite a 60-something birthday present


This is “Suzy,” a 1959 Bugeye we recently sold to Jim in Virginia. This is the 245th Bugeye to pass through our shop (I still can’t believe that number. Gumby, thank you for finding me back in 1979 and starting it all!).

If you are wondering what is the latest and greatest we can offer to make a nice Bugeye even better, check out the pile of goodies below that we will heap into this car, to make it as reliable as possible and to give this little car quite a 60-ish anniversary celebration.

Take two and call me in the morning.

By the way, thank you Jim and all of you who take home our cars, visit our website and frequent our parts catalog. You help us grow and help us keep these cars alive.

Save the date-June 2, 2019 I will be at the British by the Sea car show in New London, CT, with our Green electric FrogE called “Sparky.” I look forward to thanking you in person if you can make it!

Let’s go to the video tape! You can see Suzy’s upgrade shopping spree below. All these goodies are available in our parts catalog, which you can access by clicking here. Just type the name of the particular product you fancy in the search window on the catalog home page for more details and information. And we have several great cars in stock at the moment, let us build/modify/upgrade one just for you!

2018 Mini Cooper S JCW for sale, in Mint condition with just 7000 miles-Price reduced!

Price Reduced! Now $25,995. That’s a lot of new Mini for not a lot of dough!

Here’s something different… this is a stunning, nearly brand new Mini Cooper John Cooper Works model, with just 7021 miles. The car is a rocket, with 228 turbo charged HP. It’s about 2800 LBS and great fun, with tons of modern features. This is the first car we have featured on our site with a back up camera and heated seats!

Now that’s a front brake!

You can zoom around town, or switch to “green mode” and choose fuel efficiency. The car is loaded with technology and the two electronic car keys alone seem smarter than the average Bugeye Sprite.

We have always loved Minis, and this is a fun car just like its classic Mini brethren. And they’re fun cars with much more modern practicality than the classic Minis you have seen more frequently on our site.

I traded this car for our black MGA Coupe so I would like to find it a new home. The car is immaculate, with wonderful factory works black leather seats, built with attractive red accents. If you are unfamiliar, the JCW kit is the factory performance Mini, a limited edition with multiple upgrades and cosmetic accents.

Call or email anytime if you are looking for a nearly new modern car that also provides classic car fun! The car was about $38,000 new. Offered here for just $25,995. Email if you are interested!

Striking 1955 TR2 for sale

Just 8,636 TR2s were built between 1953 and 1955. This is TS 4431, a rare car, and worth serious consideration.

In 1955, the TR3 was born, and the grill moved forward, as shown at right below. The white car is a small mouth TR3, of which 17k were built between 1955-1957. In 1958 the large mouth TR3A was born and about 58,000 units were built before the end of the series a few years later.

1955 TR2 with inset grill left, small mouth 1957 TR3 Right

Each variant is wonderful. But the TR2 is visually the most unusual. The grill is brilliant, raw and simplistic, and a perfect fit for this rugged car. I love the small mouth TR3 but the TR2 snout always seemed more appropriate for the car than later versions. And there just don’t seem to be many TR2s left anymore.

Thus I am in love with this short door four speed TR2 because of the subtle differences it has from the more common TR3s. I never tire of the unique small mouth and I love the clean doors with no external door handles. I am sorry they added door handles to the TR3, some purity was lost. And I love the vintage center brake light, unique to TR2s.

This car was completely rebuilt by a Triumph marque specialist in Ohio. It was upgraded in a few smart ways… first with front disk brakes from a TR3… then to new round and stronger minilight wheels. The original steel disk wheels are often bent, given their age.

Note the lack of lock fittings on the front of the bonnet-the TR3s had these external chrome fittings to hold the bonnet shut. You’ll see those fittings on the boot lid and spare tire hatch below. You need the T handle key to open them… but no outside latch fittings on the bonnet. Early cars had an internal (and more practical) hood release.

This particular car was formerly vintage raced. From the log book, we can see it went through tech just once in 1988. It was subsequently restored for street use by Macy’s in Ohio in 2011. There are some receipts from 2016 at completion of the project; I will inquire at Macy’s for more info on exactly what was done. The last owner in Florida said that Macy’s restored the car completely and it shows. The car is really fun to drive and it’s tight and quick.

The top is nearly new, as is the interior. The side curtains too are a nice bonus, and in great shape. You can see them in the boot, with nice clear plastic windows. The interior was also completely redone, and also looks nearly new.

A trickle charger is hard-wired in place under the bonnet in front of the battery. There’s a battery kill switch in the passenger foot well. This is a nice anti-theft feature. A spin-on oil filter is also present, for easier oil changes.

The car spent a lot of time in California, as confirmed by early registrations which are shown in the photo gallery. At some point the car moved to Ohio, and then on to Florida. The car is quite solid, the underside looks quite nice.

Give a call if you want to discuss this rare and wonderful vintage car!

The amazing 1659 pound electric FrogE Sprite.

I had my first off-site FrogE charging session this week, at the Westport, CT train station, next to two BMW SUVs (as shown below). It was quite novel to plug-in a fuel nozzle for free, and I didn’t tire of watching the kilowatts flow.

Is this how most filling stations will look in 50 years?

Two electric SUVs and one electric SV.

Our big electric car news this week is the results from a session on four scales to measure the total weight of the car and the weight distribution. Below are the numbers for the FrogE electric #1 (seen above). The car weighs 1659 pounds, just 78 pounds more than the gas Bugeye we weighed about a year ago. That gas car had just 1/3 fuel on board. Were the tank full, the weight differential between the cars would be a mere 46 pounds. We’re excited that our electric is just roughly 50 pounds heavier when loaded enough batteries for a 100 mile range.

Near perfect 50/50 weight distribution in the electric FrogE

Even more exciting is the weight distribution. Above you can see perfect 50/50 weight distribution for the electric car, even better than the gas car below. No wonder the FrogE handles so nicely.

Close to 50/50 weight distribution in a gas-powered Bugeye, 1/3 fuel load

Don’t do this to your Bugeye Sprite.

Way back when, we would buy engines and drop them right into the car. Too often, we would have an issue that would have been much easier to repair when the engine was out of the car. So we built a simple bench test stand, and now every new engine gets a work-out and camshaft break-in before we put it into the car.

Simple test stand on a castering skid. External fan required
Core plugs that came in the rebuilt engine looked great on the outside!

This week, we received a rebuilt 1275 engine from a client, and when we bench ran it, coolant started leaking from the core plugs. You can see why they leaked in the photo below… there was quite a bit of corrosion around the perimeter of each plug. We cleaned out the block and pressed-in new plugs, which fixed the leaks.

Not so nice on the back

The front main seal also leaked, which we centered and re-sealed. And the timing cover breather was pushed aft in transit which caused chafe between the timing chain and cover, which made quite a noise. With all three issues fixed, this engine was now good to go. Now we can put it in the car.

Block cleaned, new plug installed!
Another view of the new core plugs

Bench running is a good thing.

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